FURY CLASHES WITH POVETKIN AT THE O2

Heavyweights collide on Lomachenko-Campbell undercard
Hughie Fury will take on Alexander Povetkin at The O2 in London on Saturday August 31 on the undercard of the huge Lightweight World title showdown between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
 
Aged just 24, Manchester’s Fury (23-2, 13 KOs) has been fearless in taking on the World’s Heavyweight contenders, losing a majority 12 round decision in a close and controversial WBO World title challenge to New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in 2017. 
 
Then in October 2018 he travelled to Bulgaria to battle former World title challenger Kubrat Pulev, losing on points in a gallant and gory IBF Final Eliminator in Sofia. He heads into his next challenge coming off the back of two wins over Chris Norrad and Sam Peter earlier this month. 
 
Former WBA World Champion Povetkin, a 2004 Olympic gold medallist, was last seen falling short in his challenge to dethrone former WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO Champion Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium in September 2018, succumbing to an onslaught in round seven.
 
The Russian powerhouse (34-2, 24 KOs) remains one of the most fearsome punchers in the Heavyweight division and is well-known amongst UK fight fans following his devastating knockout of Liverpool’s David Price at the Principality Stadium in March 2018. 

“I’m over the moon with this news,” said Fury. “I can’t wait. These are the kind of fights I want to be in. Matchroom can get me these big names and I’m just really looking forward to it. Povetkin is a dangerous man. You can’t take anything away from that. He’s not been where he’s been for nothing. It’s a very serious fight but I’m confident of getting the win on the night.
 
“This fight here represents a massive opportunity. As soon as it was suggested, I said ‘yes.’ Povetkin is a completely different level to my last fight and I believe his style will compliment mine.”
 
“Hughie Fury is a young, strong and challenging boxer for me to face,” said Povetkin. “I am glad this fight will take place in the United Kingdom where people really love their boxing. I am anticipating an exciting fight and I look forward to returning to London next month.”

“I can’t quite believe this fight has been made,” said Promoter Eddie Hearn. “It’s happened very quickly and it has to be said Hughie Fury has a big set of balls. There’s huge risk in the fight but there is also huge reward and if Hughie can beat Povetkin on August 31 he catapults himself into huge fights and immediate World title contention. It’s going to be a great fight on a great card – a huge night for British boxing.”

Peter Fury, father and trainer of Hughie, added: “It’s a very big fight for Hughie. He gets big exposure and it’s like anything else. Eddie gave us a list of seven opponents and we said we want the best one – Povetkin.
 
“He’s gone the rounds umpteen times with top opponents. He’s a gold medallist amateur and a former World Champion. He’s a tough fight for anybody. He’s not ranked up there for nothing. I believe Hughie’s ready now. He’s had 25 fights as a professional and this is his time. He’s achieved a lot for his age already but he’s ready for the top.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Hughie Fury’s Heavyweight clash against Alexander Povetkin is an exciting first addition to the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Luke Campbell bill, with more thrilling fights to be added to another bumper night of action at The O2.

“We’re delighted to have Hughie Fury on Sky Sports Box Office, having worked with his cousin Tyson in the past, and Alexander Povetkin has always produced fireworks throughout his career. Luke Campbell will then test his razor-sharp skills against the supremely talented Vasiliy Lomachenko in a mouthwatering main event.”
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“I’VE GOT A NEW FOUND HUNGER” SAYS FOWLER

‘The Machine’ aims to bounce back in Liverpool
Anthony Fowler says he has developed a “new found hunger” after suffering the first loss of his professional career at the hands of Preston’s Scott Fitzgerald at The M&S Bank Arena Liverpool back in March.
 
‘The Machine’ looks to return to winning ways this Friday in front of his home crowd at the Exhibition Centre when he takes on Blackpool’s Brian Rose for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

Fowler, trained by Dave Coldwell in Rotherham, is all too aware that his clash with former World title challenger and British Champion Rose is must-win. The ex-Team GB star admits to learning valuable lessons from his Fitzgerald defeat and says there’s no chance of him overlooking 34-year-old Rose. 

“I’ve got a new found hunger,” said Fowler. “I got a little bit cocky last time. I thought it would be an easy fight and I got proved wrong, so I’ve been brought down to earth a bit. I completely underestimated him and that’s my own fault.

“It was a close fight all the way through. I felt as though I was winning going into the last round but I still wanted to take him out. Looking back, maybe I should have got behind the jab and boxed to a decision. It was all for grabs and I went for it, so it was what it was. 
 
“I’d had nine fights, it was a big occasion and I showed that I’ve got a lot in me, a lot of heart and a lot of strength. Even in the ninth round I still hurt him. I showed a lot but it’s still early days and I’ve got a lot ahead of me to learn. 
 
“Every fight is must-win. I take every fight very seriously. I learnt a lot from my last fight and I’ll take that experience into this fight. I’m not looking past anyone, I’ve learnt from that mistake. I respect Brian. He’s a good fighter and I look forward to sharing a ring with him.
 
“I always say you’re only as good as your last fight. My last fight was a title fight, obviously it was a loss but it was a great fight. He boxed a journeyman over six rounds. What you did years ago means nothing now but he’s got experience on his side. I don’t think he’s stopped anyone for years has he? But we’ll see. Hopefully he does drag me into deep waters because I can swim.”
 
Fowler vs. Rose tops a bumper JD NXTGEN card in Liverpool. 

Bolton’s Jack Cullen (16-1, 7 KOs) defends his English Middleweight title against Brixton’s John Harding Jr (7-0-1, 1 KO) Forest Hall banger Lewis Ritson (18-1, 11 KOs) makes his second appearance at 140lbs as he defends his WBA Continental title, Heavyweight contender Martin Bakole (12-1, 9 KOs) returns to take on Ecuador’s Ytalo Perea (11-4-2, 7 KOs) and Welsh amateur star Sean McGoldrick (9-0, 2 KOs) meets Thomas Essomba (8-5, 3 KOs) for the WBA Continental Bantamweight Championship and Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jr (18-1, 12 KOs) returns after his European and British title win over Joe Hughes. 

There’s also action for hard-hitting Montrose Super-Middleweight John Docherty (5-0, 5 KOs),Leeds Super-Bantamweight Qais Ashfaq (6-0, 3 KOs), Anthony Bellew-managed Light-Heavyweight prospect Thomas Hart (1-0), Anthony Crolla Lightweight protege Dylan Evans (2-0) and Manchester Welterweight debutant Nathan Farrell.
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DECORATED AMATEUR STAR EITHAN JAMES ADDED TO THE QUEENSBERRY RANKS

AMATEUR SENSATION Eithan James is set to turn professional and will do so under Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions banner.

The 18-year-old, winner of five National titles, gold medallist at the Commonwealth Youth Games and two-times Tri-Nations and Haringey Box Cup winner, from Northampton will be trained in Bromley by Alan Smith alongside fellow young talents Dennis McCann, Mickey Burke jr and Jake Pettitt.

He joins a growing list of multi-title winning former amateur stars in the stable of promoter Frank Warren and super lightweight James is a little taken aback over the speed of the process of becoming a professional.

“I am still a bit shocked with it all,” said James, who also has a European silver medal on his honours list. “It happened quite quickly in the space of two months and I am so impressed with how it has all come together.

“I ended up going down to Alan Smith’s iBox Gym for a session with Dennis McCann and I was telling Alan what I had won. He then set me up from there, set me up with a manager and then a contract with Frank Warren.

“I’m going to train during the week in Bromley, going home at weekends, then will stay there full-time during fight camps. I’m looking forward to it because it will be something different, compared to the amateurs where I trained up here in Northampton every day.

“It will give me a bit more independence.”

James, who took part in 76 fights as an amateur – losing five, but believing he came off second best only once – admits there was a small temptation to retain the vest and seek Olympic recognition, but he is now looking forward to transferring his skills to the pro game and reports he already has a date in the diary.

“I was, but I sort of got bored of the amateurs towards the end. I won my first senior competition and just wanted something new.

“I would class myself more as a boxer and less of a brawler. I like my movement and long on the jab, but if I see and opening I will go for it.

“I’ve got my date confirmed and it is going to be September 21 in London. I will bring close to 200 down from Northampton with me.”

Frank Warren commented on the latest addition to his youthful ranks: “Eithan is clearly a fantastic talent and I am delighted to have him on board with us. As I keep saying, the biggest joy for me in boxing is guiding young fighters from day one to major titles and there is another opportunity to do just that with Ethan.

“He will learn his trade in an excellent working environment with Alan over at the iBox Gym and his career couldn’t be in much better hands. They are developing a new generation of young stars in Bromley and I am very much looking forward to seeing Ethan take his first steps as a professional.”

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HUGHIE FURY SIGNS WITH MATCHROOM BOXING

Boxing – Sam Sexton v Hughie Fury – British Heavyweight Title – Macron Stadium, Bolton, Britain – May 12, 2018 Hughie Fury during the walk out before his match against Sam Sexton Action Images/Lee Smith
Manchester Heavyweight targets World Title glory
Manchester Heavyweight contender Hughie Fury has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, with his next fight will be announced at a press conference next week.
 
The hugely gifted Manchester star has long shown himself to be one of the finest technical talents the UK has produced, and now the 24-year-old is ready to mount a third assault towards a Heavyweight World title.
 
The only defeats on Fury’s 25 fight slate came at World level – a majority 12 round decision in a close and controversial WBO World title challenge to New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in 2017, then a gallant and gory 12 round points loss to Kubrat Pulev in last October’s IBF Final Eliminatory in Sofia.
 
 “I’m over the moon to be signing promotionally with Eddie and joining a stable as strong as Matchroom,” said Fury.
 
“I feel with Matchroom’s backing I can kick on now and really fulfil my potential. Watch this space because it’ll be exciting times over the next couple of years.”
 
Father and trainer Peter Fury added: “This is fantastic news for Hughie. People forget he’s still only 24 years old – a baby for a Heavyweight. Signing with Matchroom gives him to perfect platform to achieve his goal of rising to the top of the heavyweight division and I have complete confidence in him doing just that.”
 
“I’m delighted to welcome Hughie Fury to the Matchroom Boxing team,” said Promoter Eddie Hearn.  “At such a young age Hughie has been fearless taking on the World’s contenders, facing Joseph Parker for the World title at just 23 and recently travelling to Bulgaria to take on Kubrat Pulev on his back yard. This experience will be priceless and I’m excited to see him back in a big fight soon at a time when the division is hotter than ever.” 
 
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‘THE ROCK’ FIRED UP FOR KOVALEV V YARDE

DWAYNE ‘THE ROCK’ JOHNSON has given Anthony Yarde the green light to copy his famous chant and celebration if he shocks WBO light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev next month.

The Hollywood and WWE legend has used his catchphrase; ‘If you smell what The Rock is cooking’ for almost 20 years during his wrestling career.

And Ilford’s Yarde (18-0, 17KOs) is planning to honour his hero when he challenges Kovalev (33-3-1 (28KOs) in Chelyabinsk on Saturday August 24Yarde, 27, vowed: “When I win I am gonna do ‘The Rock’s’ celebration and get on the top of the rope with the belt and shout ‘If you smell…’. I might use his ring entrance music also.”

Johnson who has starred in a stack of blockbuster movies including Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Fast Five and San Andreas was blown away when he heard of Yarde’s plan.

He told Yarde: “You set the stage brother, do my iconic pose justice if you win.”Johnson is a huge boxing fan and cannot wait for the big showdown in Russia, and promised: “Gonna be a great fight.

“Kovalev and Yarde are two bad ass dudes. Phenomenal fighters.”

WATCH KOVALEV V YARDE LIVE ON BT SPORT ON AUGUST 24

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LOMACHENKO VS. CAMPBELL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell press conference at Glaziers Hall London Bridge ahead of their huge WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World title showdown at The O2 in London on Saturday August 31, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and ESPN+ in the US. Picture Mark Robinson. 22 July 2019 Free to use editorial picture

Eddie Hearn:

“Good morning everyone and thank you for coming along today. Special fight, special announcement after a great night at The O2. Dillian Whyte moves to the mandatory position with the WBC. Also announced on Saturday was a huge unification fight, WBC, WBO, WBA and Ring Magazine World Lightweight titles.

“Vasiliy Lomachenko versus Luke Campbell, August 31, The O2, Sky Sports Box Office, ESPN+ in the States. It is a huge night for British boxing, we saw pre-sale records broken at the weekend and we’re expecting an immediate sell-out for this massive moment for British boxing.

“Pound-for-pound number one, former Olympic Champion, three-weight World Champion, unified Lightweight Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko taking on the greatest amateur this country has ever produced, London Olympic gold medallist, Luke Campbell.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing:

“Thanks Eddie. I hope everyone’s not too tired after Saturday night. What a night. It was another great night at The O2 and it’s fantastic to see these two go head-to-head. Vasiliy Lomachenko, possibly the greatest fighter of our generation, a wonderfully talented amateur that lost just once in 396 fights and a fabulous pro career so far, a three weight World Champion.

“We were there at his professional debut in Las Vegas and I thought we were starting a journey that might not just end up in the Hall of Fame, but as one of the great fighters of all time. I really love watching Lomachenko, he’s got incredible ring craft and talent. It’s a pleasure to have him over here. This is going to be a special attraction. We’ve had great fighters over here in recent years like Errol Spence and Genady Golovkin but for me Vasiliy Lomachenko might be the best of the lot.

“Luke Campbell, our greatest ever amateur. He’s not only just a fabulous fighter and a beautiful southpaw  technician himself, but he’s a great guy as well. He’s an absolute pleasure, he’s been great to work with over the years and it’s a golden opportunity for Luke.

“Both of these guys hit gold in London 2012, there is no reason why Luke Campbell can’t go and achieve his dream and achieve his goals, and give Lomachenko the toughest and best night of his life. And who knows, maybe he can bring these titles back to Britain. It would be an amazing if he does. It’s a fantastic moment for us on August 31, we cannot wait. It’s promising to be a terrific card as well. For Luke it’s a chance of a lifetime and we wish them both well.”

Brad Jacobs, Chief Operating Officer at Top Rank:

“Eddie thank you so much. It is a pleasure to be here. As always we want to thank Matchroom and their entire team for their hospitality. This is a once in a generation opportunity to see a tremendous fighter, number one in the world, against such an accomplished fighter in Luke Campbell. The entire world is waiting for this event to happen so we’re just looking forward to being back next month.”

Egis Klimas, manager of Vasiliy Lomachenko:

“I am really blessed to represent the best fighter in the world. When I signed him I hit the jackpot! A lot of people say Madison Square Garden is the Mecca of Boxing, I have to disagree. UK fans know and understand boxing.

“This is two guys who are going step in the ring and they both have skills, a high boxing IQ and this more like a chess game rather than a boxing match. This is going to be a great night for boxing fans. Lomachenko’s dream is to unify all titles and this will be another step for him to reach his goal. We’re looking forward to August 31.”

George Groves, former WBA Super-Middleweight World Champion:

“What an opportunity for Luke Campbell to get in there and really show what he’s all about. This week Shane said to me, ‘Lukes’ going to beat Lomachenko’ and I replied, ‘I know’. We know he’s got it all to do and he’s a big underdog but he’s going to go out there and do the job, do what he was put on this planet to do.

“He’s one of the best fighters we’ve produced. I know this first hand by training alongside him. He is going from strength-to-strength and really improving. The best is yet to come, he’s got the opportunity to fight the pound-for-pound number one and if anyone can beat him, it is Luke Campbell. He’s not here to make up the numbers and to give the British fans the opportunity to see a great fighter. I’m so excited to see my friend become World Champion, this is a huge occasion and a must see fight.

“He’s got that champion material, there’s not an ounce of self doubt inside him and he’s a born champion. Luke’s had to face frustration where you feel like you have to work harder so it is going to be that bit sweeter on the night. On paper he’s our best amateur fighter of all time and now it is his time to do the same in the pro ranks.”

Vasiliy Lomachenko – Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine – 13-1, 10 KOs:

“Hi everyone. I am happy to be in London again. I don’t want to talk too much, see you on August 31, okay.

“He is tall, he has a big reach, he is a smart boxer and has a high boxing IQ. He also has lots of amateur experience so maybe for me it will be a big challenge. I never think about being unbeatable, I just do my job and train hard. When I come in the ring I believe I win.”

Luke Campbell – Hull, England – 20-2, 16 KOs: 

“I’ve never shied sway from a challenge, this is a big one but it is the type of challenge I train and prepare for everyday. I believe this is the two best Lightweights in the division that are dancing off and this brings everything to the table. Power, speed, ability, this fight has everything. Come August 31 I believe that you’re going to see one hell of a fight. I’m a competitor and I want to compete at the highest level. I believe in myself and I will rise to occasion and be ready on August 31st. Vasiliy doesn’t need to talk much because the action will do the talking. You’re going to see a great fight.

“We know how good he is from being a young age but I never really thought we would be facing off. We set out goals and one is to have the titles. When I was young my father always said to me you’re going to be Olympic Champion and I never believed him. He also said in the pro game that I will hold all the belts and I finally now believe him.

“Im the challenger he’s the champion, obviously I respect everything he has done and achieved but I also know that every champion was once a challenger and I’ll be ready to give everyone a great fight on August 31. My carer is going from strength-to-strength. It took me a while to get settled in the pro game, now I feel like I’m finally settled. I’m in a great place and this is the perfect time for me. Both of us are in our prime and this for me is perfect timing.”

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LOMACHENKO TO FACE CAMPBELL IN THE CAPITAL

Olympic Champions clash in Unified Lightweight showdown on August 31
Pound-for-pound number one Vasiliy Lomachenko will face Luke Campbell for the WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World titles on Saturday August 31 at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and ESPN+ in the US.

Lomachenko (13-1 10 KOs), who went 396-1 as an amateur, won gold in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and has won World titles at Featherweight, Super-Featherweight and Lightweight in the paid ranks. He fought for a World title in his second pro bout and won the WBO Featherweight World title in his third outing, dominating Gary Russell Jr. over 12 rounds. He made his Lightweight debut last May, tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in the second round and rising from a sixth-round knockdown to knock out WBA Champion Jorge Linares in the 10th.

Lomachenko added the WBO Lightweight title to his collection in December 2018, scoring a pair of knockdowns in the 11th round and ultimately winning a unanimous decision over two-weight World Champion Jose Pedraza. He last fought in April at Staples Center in Los Angeles, taking out mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla in four rounds. The Ukrainian’s punch power and supreme boxing ability have seen him rise to the top of the 135lbs division and on August 31 he will step through the ropes as a pro for the first time on UK soil.

Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) is ranked number one in the WBC and landed the mandatory slot for the World title when he exacted revenge over Frenchman Yvan Mendy at Wembley Stadium, London in September 2017. He was at his devastating best last time out as he stopped Mexico’s Adrian Young in five rounds in Philadelphia.

The London 2012 Olympic Gold medal star was superb in his first World title clash, being edged out via split decision against then-WBA and WBC Diamond king Jorge Linares in September 2017 in Los Angeles – with Campbell bravely pushing the Venezuelan close after losing his father in the build-up to the fight.

‘Cool Hand’, trained by Shane McGuigan in London, now has a chance to establish himself as the number one Lightweight on the planet as he goes toe-to-toe with the highly-skilled ‘Hi-Tech’ at the famous arena in Greenwich.

“This is a fight for history because my goal is to unify all of the belts in the Lightweight division,” Lomachenko said. “Luke Campbell is the next challenge for me on that journey. He is an excellent fighter who I remember well from the 2012 Olympics. He has a difficult style, and I cannot afford to overlook him.

“It is very special for me to fight in London. I visited last year, and the response from the people was overwhelming. They respect my fighting style and are passionate about boxing. I can’t wait to put on a great show for everyone.”

“The best fighting the best, this is going to make one hell of a fight,” said Campbell. “I am in this sport to be the best to become a World Champion. This is what I train and work so hard for, to become a World Champion and fulfil my potential.

“He is ranked number one pound-for-pound on the planet so for me to fight a guy like that only encourages me more to be the best that I can be and it is exactly the level that I want to be at. I’m well aware of how good he is and what he is capable of doing but I’m also well aware of what I can do and what I’m going to do.

“I think that I can knock out anyone that I hit right, I believe that I am one of the biggest punchers in the Lightweight division. This is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I’m preparing for it, physically and mentally. This is Luke Campbell’s year, it’s my time.”

“This is a huge moment for British boxing,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing. “It is an honour to bring pound-for-pound number one Vasiliy Lomachenko to the UK to challenge Luke Campbell for the WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World titles.

“I truly believe Luke Campbell has a fantastic chance here on home soil to upset his fellow Olympic Gold Medallist. This will be a huge event, not just in Britain, but around the World. We’re planning another huge undercard for a special night of boxing. I cannot wait for August 31!”

“Vasiliy Lomachenko is a unique talent who is going to take the United Kingdom by storm,” said Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum. “Luke Campbell is an excellent fighter, but Lomachenko is in a class of his own. The fans on that side of the pond have wanted Lomachenko to return ever since he turned pro. It’s going to be a crazy, sold-out crowd at The O2, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lomachenko has the crowd’s support.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to have the finest fighter on the planet heading to London,” said Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing. “This is a very special occasion and a golden opportunity for Luke Campbell. Two Olympics Champions going head-to-head and a huge bill at the famous O2. Do not miss this one off as Vasiliy Lomachenko performs his amazing talent here on our shores.”

Tickets for Lomachenko vs. Campbell are priced £40, £60, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 (Inner Ring VIP).

Tickets are available to purchase NOW for O2 Priority customers via www.theo2.co.uk and go on sale to Fight Pass members on Sunday July 21 at midday via StubHub www.stubhub.co.uk.

General Sale tickets are available to purchase from midday on Monday July 22 from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
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WHYTE VS. RIVAS WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER

DOORS 16:30

BOXING STARTS 16:50
 
4 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest
ALEN BABIC 14st 11lbs 6oz v MORGAN DESSAUX 15st 6lbs
(Croatia)                                     (France)
 
LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK

8 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest
FABIO WARDLEY 17st 6oz v MARIANO DIAZ STRUNZ 16st 8lbs 4oz
(Ipswich)                                 (Argentina)
 
LIVE ON SKY SPORTS BOX OFFICE
 
18:10 | 10 x 3 mins Southern Area Light-Heavyweight Title
CHARLIE DUFFIELD 12st 6lbs 5oz v DAN AZEEZ 12st 6lbs 9oz
(Canning Town)                                    (Lewisham)
 
10 x 3 mins WBA Continental Championship
LAWRENCE OKOLIE 14st 3lbs 4oz v MARIANO GUDINO 14st 3lbs 9oz
(Hackeny)                                             (Argentina)
 
4 x 3 mins Super-Lightweight contest
DALTON SMITH 10st 2lbs v IBRAR RIYAZ 10st 4lbs 3oz
(Sheffield)                              (Reading)
 
10 x 3 mins WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight Title
RICHARD RIAKPORHE 14st 3lbs 5oz v CHRIS BILLAM-SMITH 14st 2lbs 7oz
(Walworth)                                                 (Bournemouth)
 
10 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest
DEREK CHISORA 18st 5lbs v ARTUR SZPILKA 17st 5lbs
(Finchley)                                 (Poland)
 
12 x 3 mins vacant WBA Continental Heavyweight Title
DAVE ALLEN 17st 3lbs 5oz v DAVID PRICE 18st 5lbs
(Conisborough)                        (Liverpool)
 
12 x 3 mins vacant WBC Interim Heavyweight Title
DILLIAN WHYTE 18st 2lbs v OSCAR RIVAS 17st 1lbs 3oz
(Brixton)                                  (Colombia)
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YARDE CAN DELIVER KOV KO SAYS ARTHUR

LYNDON ARTHUR insists arch rival Anthony Yarde can shock the world and crush Sergey Kovalev next month.

Ilford hitter Yarde faces a tough assignment when he travels to Kovalev’s back yard in Chelyabinsk and challenges for the Russian’s WBO light-heavyweight title on Saturday August 24.

Yarde has won all 18 fights since turning professional, and knocked out 17 of his opponents, but will be a big underdog away from home.
.
Arthur, 28, said: “It is a hard task, but I do think Yarde has got a good chance.

“Yarde is a very hard puncher and has a chance of knocking him out, but we are still waiting to see him get hit at that level.

“I think he has a good chance, but it isn’t just Kovalev. Boxing there in Russia is a lot different to being in London where there are home comforts.

“Kovalev is very good and it’s a case of what is left in him.”

Mancunian Arthur has won all 15 professional fights and next year is a likely opponent for fellow Frank Warren promoted boxer Yarde.

They might be enemies, but Arthur will be cheering Yarde on when he makes the daunting trip to Russia.

“Even though he is a potential opponent and rival we have to support him and I wish him all the best out there. I will support any British fighter especially on the road,” explained Arthur.

“I have seen people online saying Yarde has no chance against Kovalev,  but those saying that are the ones who will say, ‘I knew he could do it,’ if he wins.

“As fighters in the public eye we have to accept that people give opinions on us and will want us to get beat.

“But Anthony has to do what he wants and he is by having this fight. That is the main thing and all I can do is wish him well.”

Kovalev v Yarde will be live on BT Sport on August 24.

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I’LL WEAR HIM DOWN AND STOP HIM SAYS BILLAM-SMITH

Bournemouth banger risks unbeaten record against Riakporhe
In what promises to be an explosive encounter in the Cruiserweight division, Chris Billam-Smith challenges fellow unbeaten prospect Richard Riakporhe for the World Boxing Association Inter-Continental title at The O2 in London this Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

Billam-Smith, 9-0 with eight knockouts, has recently welcomed a new arrival into the McGuigan camp in Battersea in the form of 6’ 5” British Cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie, and the south coast native said he couldn’t have asked for better sparring in preparation for Riakporhe.
 
“When Shane told me Okolie was joining the gym I thought it was a good thing,” said Billam-Smith. “We’d spoke about how good Lawrence would be as preparation for Riakporhe before he joined and now he’s here it has been excellent.

“Okolie is so tall and long like Riakporhe, I couldn’t ask for better sparring. After our spars Okolie has given me some tips on how to get past the jab and avoid the big right hand so, yeah it’s been really good work and has given me lots to think about going into the fight.”

‘The Gentleman’, last seen retiring Yassine Habachi in Nottingham, insists he has spotted vulnerability in Riakporhe and plans to boost his ranking and reputation by taking out the hard-hitting Londoner in style on his PPV debut. 

“Being a domestic opponent the excitement around the fight has really brought me on in camp. On paper people are saying that Richard is my toughest opponent but no disrespect towards him having sparred Lawrence Okolie a lot in this camp I’m more than ready for this test.
 
“Richard is coming off two good wins over Sam Hyde and Tommy McCarthy so his confidence will be sky high. I’m expecting the best Richard Riakporhe in this fight, this is my first big test and one that people really want to see. Someone’s ‘0’ has got to go. I believe it will be a physical fight but eventually I will wear him down and get the stoppage.”

Riakporhe vs. Billam-Smith is part of a huge night of boxing in the Capital.

Main event sees Brixton’s Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) risk his number one spot in the WBC against relentless and undefeated Colombian Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs), Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) tackles Liverpudlian Heavyweight David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) in a must-win domestic showdown, former World title challengers Derek Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) and Artur Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs) clash in an explosive Heavyweight match-up, Canning Town’s Charlie Duffield (7-1, 6 KOs) clashes with Lewisham’s Dan Azeez (8-0, 5 KOs) for the vacant Southern Area Light-Heavyweight title, Lawrence Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Cruiserweight title against Mariano Gudino (13-2, 8 KOs), Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (7-0, 6 KOs) continues his march towards a title and Sheffield amateur star Dalton Smith (1-0) fights for the second time.
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